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BBVA Will Boost Spain Market Share to 20%, Chairman Says

Feb. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, Spain’s second-biggest bank, expects to increase its share of the domestic market to 20 percent from 12.5 percent, Chairman Francisco Gonzalez said.

“The crisis is for us an enormous opportunity to have a much bigger brand,” Gonzalez said in a seminar in Madrid today. “I believe in the years to come that BBVA will have at least 20 percent of this market, so it’s very important.”

Government orders for banks to clean up soured real estate assets that piled up on their books during Spain’s property crash has pressured some to merge or seek state aid. The process has favored larger lenders such as BBVA and Banco Santander SA, Spain’s biggest bank, that can rely on revenue from businesses outside Spain to absorb the costs of the clean-up and an economic recession at home.

The U.S. will be the market of greatest growth for BBVA in the next five years, Gonzalez said. BBVA paid $9 billion for Compass Bancshares Inc. in 2007 to extend its business in the southern U.S.

To contact the reporter on this story: Charles Penty in Madrid at cpenty@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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